The LA Times reports that new reasearch has found that testosterone therapy is linked to a 30% increase in the risk of heart attack, stroke and death. Based on this research, men treating their low testosterone with a supplement may want to rethink the decision: "Our findings raise some uncertainty regarding the potential safety of testosterone use in men," concluded the authors, a group of physicians and epidemiologists in Colorado and Texas. While patients taking testosterone should not abandon the medication willy-nilly, they added, "it is important to inform patients that long-term risks are unknown and there is a possibility that testosterone therapy might be harmful."
The latest research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), is the second major study to suggest there may be public health dangers in a booming market for "low T" medication. In 2010, researchers called an early end to a clinical trial of testosterone supplementation in frail older men, many of whom had cardiovascular disease, after they detected a notably higher rate of heart attacks and strokes in the group getting testosterone.
Some 2.9% of all U.S. men over 40 are currently taking prescription testosterone to treat such common symptoms as flagging energy and libido and weight gain. Driven by a surge in direct-to-consumer advertising, yearly prescriptions for these "low T" medications increased fivefold between 2000 and 2011. Today, it's a market worth $1.6 billion annually.
If you or a loved one have suffered a heart attack or stroke or if a loved one died after receiving testosterone therapy to treat their low testosterone, please call our office for a free consultation.